Curriculum and schedules and co-ops—Oh My! Don’t get caught in the tornado, Dorothy! Here’s a list of seven important things you’ll need to know, including helpful connections and valuable resources to help you start your journey home on the right foot. Ruby slippers, anyone?

1. Connect with parents who are already homeschooling.

Could homeschooling be a good fit for your family? A conversation with experienced homeschooling parents is a great way to get your questions answered, and better understand the commitment, pros, and cons of this educational choice. Building connections and finding support make all the difference! Social media groups, your own circle of friends and acquaintances, and homeschool advocacy groups like those found here are all great ways to make connections.

2. Get to know your state’s homeschool law.

Here are some important questions you’ll want answers to. And we make it easy: click on your state here for a quick summary that answers these questions!

  • Do I have to notify my school district that I’m homeschooling?
  • Is testing required?
  • Do I have to keep records of attendance, test results, or anything else?
  • Can my child participate in sports or other activities at our local public school?

3. Explore your child’s learning preference, your teaching style, and your educational approach.

These are keys that help you find curriculum and educational approach(s) that will work for your child and you!

4. Find your child’s curriculum.

From ready-to-use complete packages to a handpicked eclectic course lineup, your options are boundless! Try this quick intro to types of curriculum and tips for selecting it. With a little extra planning and prep, you can even take advantage of free educational resources (public or college libraries, online, borrowed, etc.).

5. Decide where you will homeschool and create your unique school schedule.

You might be surprised at all the places homeschooling can happen. And you may want to mix it up occasionally, but starting with a routine and a clear schedule will help you and your kids be on the same page and establish good habits that will last all year long.

Here’s what three homeschool moms had to say about planning:

6. Enjoy the learning process. Plan to re-evaluate with your kids periodically and change anything that isn’t working for you.

Modelling flexibility and a growth mindset will help your children have a positive and creative approach to making things work. Keep records of each child’s progress each year. Is there anything in your Homeschool GPS that needs to be updated or adjusted?

7. Celebrate and highlight your student’s growth and achievement.

Put their best artwork, handwriting practice, essays, math pages, and best efforts on your fridge or in another prominent location.